The Drye Tree Answereth

Capitulo Xxi

`Thenne answerd this drye tree, and said in this maner: "Now, swete grene tree, the sothe hit is, that this honour suffyseth me wel more than euer myght I be worthy. And nought only I haue this honour, but also I haue recouered therby suche vertu and noblenes, that after this tyme ther nys no creature, that shal douten the cruel enemy, yf that he be marked with me. Suche vertu haue I receyued by the moysture of the precious Iuse that yssueth is fro this precious appel.

"And sothly me semyth that ye shold nought compleyene with so pytous semblaunt for ought that here is done, for why byfore that I had this appel in my ward, he was passyble and myght suffre peynes and dysese. But after this tyme he may nomore deye ne suffren no distresse, wherfore I beseke yow that ye appese your self and cesse your pytous compleynt, and put awey al mournynge and heuynesse. For only tyl the third day wil I haue hym kepte in store. And after that shal I yelde hym yow at youre owne lust, fully gloryfyed, to youre grete comforte. And thenne maye ye yeuen hym to dyner to his old frendes.

"There shal neuer man fynde so holsome a fruyte. And in this appel shal they fynde wonder grete comforte, nought only the child that is young and tender, but also ful myghty men woxen in age, yf so that they be wyse, for in the wyde world is there [69r] no iewel so faire ne so precious wherwith for to pleyen and taken disport. The scent and the sauour therof shal gladen euery wyght that wel is disposid. And who that often tasteth of the swetnes therof and goodly can kepe it, settyng therupon his thought and his entent, and only therupon haue all his delyte, his solace & his comforte, glad and fayne to heren or to speke therof, it shalle make them foryeten al maner heuynesse, and al maner greuaunce hit shalle destroye and vtterly fordoo"

"Now", quod this grene tre that bare this fayr appel and wepte soo therfore, "God graunte me to pleyen and disporten, that I may foryeten all myn heuynes."